Lacey man charged with brutal killing of son to change plea

BUTTE, Mont. (AP) - A court hearing has been scheduled in southwestern Montana so a 38-year-old Washington state man charged with killing his 3-year-old son near Anaconda can change his plea.

The Montana Standard reports that Jeremy Brent Cramer of Lacey, Wash., will appear in District Court in Anaconda on Tuesday.

A public defender entered an initial not guilty plea in late July.

Cramer was arrested July 8 after a convenience store clerk in Anaconda discovered him in the restroom, washing blood from his clothes.

Cramer's wife, Nataliya, had told Lacey police earlier in the day that her husband had taken their son and had not responded to phone calls and text messages.

Employees at an Anaconda convenience store called police on July 8 to report seeing Cramer trying to wash blood from his clothing in the restroom.

Cramer phoned his father after he was arrested and told him in the recorded call that he had run out of gas and started walking down the rural road with his son on his shoulders, according to prosecutors.

Authorities say the boy's body was found the next morning near Cramer's abandoned truck about 5 miles southeast of Anaconda.

A partial transcript of the phone call says Cramer told his father he killed his own son, and he didn't know why. He asked "'Why did I take all my pills?'" according to the transcript.

Investigators found Broderick Cramer's body the next morning next to a knife and two rocks covered with blood and hair.